The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is prosecuting former company directors Reginald Larry-Cole and Scott Martin for fraud in relation to the nationwide car leasing scheme, Buy2Let Cars, which attracted hundreds of British savers to pay in around £88 million.
Operating for nine years, Buy2Let Cars Ltd offered investment in a fleet of popular cars from brands including Hyundai, Toyota and Vauxhall, to be bought and leased out to the public with the promise of high levels of returns. The scheme was widely marketed via a series of TV, radio and newspaper adverts, as well as at hotel conferences around the country.
The defendants are accused of providing those who signed up with false information, encouraging people to pay in whilst knowing that investments were not in reality backed up by the cars they had been promised.
Nick Ephgrave QPM, director of the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), said: “Hundreds of people suffered significant losses when this well-marketed, seemingly safe car hire scheme collapsed. “
Many of those who paid into the scheme were first-time investors, making a seemingly affordable and secure investment that was backed up by a tangible asset, a car.
Larry-Cole and Martin both appeared before magistrates last week, and will return to court later this month.
The SFO’s investigation – first announced in April 2021 – has heard from hundreds of investors and involved interviewing both the defendants and searching their homes.
In March 2021 the directors of Raedex Consortium, which included Buy 2 Let Cars and Rent 2 Own Cars, declared the businesses involvent and called in administrators after
The Financial Conduct Authority reported at the time that Buy 2 Let Cars was not FCA authorised although Raedex, which was the company which leased cars to customers, was, but the FCA then put restrictions on Raedex because of “serious concerns about its finances” to stop it entering into any new car leases.